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Where to start? What to learn first?

WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
edited May 2011 in Technique & Theory
Hi all,

I am on a new ski and trying to learn how to ski efficiently. I find that I can't seem to just turn the switch and ski my old way and I definitely can't seem to pick up all of the new things I need to be doing right away. I am wondering where I should start as far as speed and length to work on the new style most effectively. At my best I ski a few buoys at 38 off 34 mph skiing "old school". I hardly ever ski longer than 28 off because it seems so long, but maybe I should be. I am 5'9" 160 lbs and I am on a 66 inch radar strada. Any thoughts? I realize this will take years to really get, but I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to ground zero all summer to try to learn it.

Next question--Does anyone have thoughts on what the five most important things are to work on when learning to ski efficiently? I feel like I can only focus on one thing at a time, and maybe if I could ski the same way I have been, but incorporate and master one new thing a time I won't get so frustrated trying to figure out what I am doing.



  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,272

    I can sympathize with you in your attempt to convert to New School. I spent 10 years from the time I first got into 38 till I ran it. Could never get past 3 @ 38 until I did convert. Best thing I ever did though, since it is much easier on my old body. Hard part is getting past your subconscious, which seems to resist change. My subconscious must have been an attorney in a past life, since it argues with me constantly in the course.

    The key is leading with Center of Mass movement. Learning proper Counter-Rotation from the bottom up, ankles, knees, hips, then shoulders. Not top down, leading with the shoulders. Also, not rotating the upper body off the apex, and skiing to the handle, not rotating and grabbing for it. Allowing the ski to finish the turn, being open to the boat, and loading at the spray, not off the ball. Also, it is no longer just a QUICK edge change off the 2nd wake but a Transition from one edge to another that occurs earlier and maintains sustained angular momentum into the preturn with emphasis on handle control.

    One of the things that will really help you is a mental image of how the movements flow. You definitely need to learn the process in a sequence, since everything you do depends on what you did before it. I highly recommend the DVD, West Coast Slalom. It has a wealth of information. Articles by Chris Rossi are excellent, as are videos that Terry Winter has on his Web-Site. I am a huge fan of Marcus Brown and his teachings also.

    Hope this helps and stick with BOS for great information you can research here.........ED
    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • BoodyBoody Posts: 613 Baller
    Excellent post Ed, sounds like you have it figured out and I couldn't agree with you more. I just wish someone would have told me that 10 years ago.
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Ed--thanks. How long did it take you until you were able to reach your PB skiing new style that you had done old style?
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,272

    Sometimes you just have to take several steps back to make one step forward. Not being a natural athlete means it may have taken me longer than most. I believe it was three seasons till I finally ran 38. Lots of 5's, then it was one "screaming" moment when it finally happened. Felt like a lifetime achievement.

    What I Love about New School is that it is continually evolving. It is striving for perfection in fluid movement and efficiency. As an example today, with some credit to Schnitz, I was working on "Spinal Rotation," to establish the Reverse C, on my offside carryout. Let's just say it is going to take several sets to get this down. Again, two steps back, one step forward. However, it may have been the missing link I was looking for to improve what has haunted me as my weakest area.

    Remember, there is no such thing as failure, only varying degrees of success !!!

    Ski Well, ED
    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 477 Baller
    Thanks. Well said. The worst day on the water is better than the best day in the office. I expect this to take some time. I love the idea of this being easier on my body. I can see some of that already in the few times I've tried it.
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